Firm Profile

Ferrere (Uruguay)


Top-tier firm with cross-border reach

LL 250 Elite

Established: 1957

Partners: 17

Lawyers: 158

Female partners: 29%

Partner to associate ratio: 8.3

Work areas

This firm is elite for services in the following work areas.

Ferrere has established itself as one of the leading Uruguayan firms and dominates the local market with unflappable ease. Its reach across South America gives the firm a deep and thorough understanding of the region. Regardless of Ferrere’s status as a permanent fixture within Uruguay’s legal market, it has a youthful streak that keeps the firm on top of the latest trends and innovative legal strategies.

Thanks to significant investment in technology in the past two years, the firm’s lawyers are equipped with the latest legal software and digital innovation, allowing them to provide first-class legal advice all over the world. Consequently, when working from home became the new normal during the height of the covid-19 pandemic, Ferrere was ready to quickly adapt to the shifting landscape. Throughout the pandemic, the firm ensured that its lawyers and clients were supported in equal measure.

Recent economic turbulence has neither decreased Ferrere’s ability to gain high-value and cross-border work in active transactional practice groups, nor has it prevented the firm’s esteemed disputes practice from advising on high-profile deals. Ferrere helped steer the implementation of Uruguay’s new merger control, which introduced a two-phase review of company combinations as well as a new conditional approval rule. The firm also assisted the international lenders to a consortium of transport operators in the public-private partnership (PPP) railway project connecting the cities of Montevideo and Paso de los Toros. It previously worked with the same lenders for the project in the country’s largest-ever PPP financing.

Ferrere’s growth strategy is to become the go-to law firm in each country where it has a presence. A universal understanding of each region’s jurisdictions has put the firm in excellent standing where multi-jurisdictional matters are concerned. Although recent years have seen significant changes in headcount and structure for Ferrere’s offices in Bolivia and Ecuador, the departures have not affected its highly successful offering in Uruguay and Paraguay.

The firm runs a corporate social responsibility programme called Transforma which partners with local institutions and organisations to provide legal experiences for young people. The programme offers mentorships to local schools and universities in underprivileged areas. Managing partner, Agustín Mayer, recognises that not everyone in Uruguay has access to equal opportunities and aims to make investments that contribute to positive social change. Meanwhile, aspiring lawyers are attracted to the firm’s involvement in these initiatives, with an increasing number of recently graduated attorneys scouting for firms where they can best use their legal education to give back to the community. The firm continues to strive towards a diverse partnership, both in terms of gender and socio-economic background.

In a compact market like Uruguay’s, there is often just a pair of firms commanding most of the work. Ferrere sits across the table as one of the two market leaders. Its service offering is as wide-ranging as its knowledge is extensive. It fields a top-tier M&A group, regularly advising on cross-border and big-ticket transactions. Where Uruguay’s prominent forestry industry is concerned, Ferrere is kept extremely busy by a slew of cross-border acquisition and merger deals. The firm’s comprehensive banking offering also helps with sophisticated lending deals and intricate capital markets work. Project finance is another strength, and the firm has been active in advising on much of the country’s road and public transport infrastructure, while its distinguished energy group attracts a steady stream of work in the country’s growing renewables sector. Its disputes team is well-respected and regularly represents well-known clients, while it also boasts a strong tax team.

Above all, clients commend the firm’s high technical knowledge, business-orientated attitude and efficiency. One satisfied client highlighted the lawyers’ ability to “understand the sector specificities and business needs” as a major draw, while another praised the group’s “prompt responses, availability and accuracy”.

Ferrere’s list of notable clientele highlights the firm’s deep bench, both across industries and in the services it provides. Likewise, its leading legal expertise often incites lucrative and important clients to remain loyal to the firm. Uber has been a major source of firm-wide work for Ferrere in recent years, while South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai is a core client in its litigation practice. Multilateral lenders such as Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) continue to be key banking clients. Oil companies Petrobras, Braskem and Shell, as well as Colombian airline Avianca and Mexican beverage group FEMSA are all among recent additions to the firm’s client portfolio, as are global asset management firm Brookfield and tech giant IBM. Mining group Vale, Argentinian energy company YPF and Italian energy provider Enel can all be adjoined to that list. According to a study, “Who Represents Latin America's Biggest Companies”, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Ferrere represents 11 of the approximately 100 largest companies in the region. This makes it the second most popular firm for clients in Uruguay.

The firm is resolute in its plans to continue to adapt to the times and implement the latest technology and AI software to keep competing in the market. Whatever the future brings, Ferrere puts a strong emphasis on its clients and makes a point of ensuring its partners will always be reachable, whether by telephone or in-person, according to the clients’ needs.

The firm has maintained a retirement policy where its partners stop working at the age of 60. The measure is characteristic of the firm’s youthful outlook, and the firm hopes to motivate and provide a platform for younger practitioners.

Diversity remains a priority at Ferrere. The group has a board that meets to monitor equal pay across genders. The firm has also taken part in a set of female empowerment initiatives established by the United Nations, such as the HeForShe campaign that encourages men to become involved in gender equality movements and stand up for their female counterparts. Partner Verónica Raffo leads the firm’s engagement with these initiatives. Ferrere also offers a mentorship programme that pairs first-time mothers across the firm’s offices.


Agustín Mayer leads a tight ship at Ferrere since assuming the role in 2017.


Ferrere has the largest national presence of any local firm, with five outposts in Uruguay in total. Aside from its Montevideo hub, the firm gathers real estate work from its Punta del Este branch, while its outpost in the Zonamerica free trade zone is an important draw for public law work. The group also has a modest presence in the city of Colonia, while its Tacuarembó office is a key hub for forestry clients. Most recently, the firm opened a base in Paso de los Toros.

Alliances & networks

Ferrere is a member of the Latin American tax and legal network Lataxnet.

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